Having a Very Frustrating Experience at the Building Department

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Good morning Mr. Kisela,
I am having a very frustrating experience at the building department.  I had scheduled a drywall inspection for Tuesday on a bathroom project at my house. I followed the procedures to schedule the inspection and then left a voice mail to say what time Tuesday the walls would be ready for inspection.  No one showed up or called to say they were  not going to make it.  Meanwhile my tile contractor cannot proceed with the project and my wife is stuck at home all day.
I went in to the building office this morning and was told that they would probably not get the inspection done today.  After waiting for some time a gentleman came out with building official on his shirt (I did not get his name).  He indicated they would try to get my inspection done today, but there was no guarantee.  He showed me a very long list that was assigned to the inspector.  He explained that they do not make phone calls to say they are not going to make it because they do not have time.
I believe they need additional help in this department.  It appears the inspectors are overloaded and there is not even enough time for someone to call and let you know your inspection is delayed.  Meanwhile, the homeowner has to be on site waiting for a visit that might not even come.  People have lives to live and children that need to be picked up and should not have to wait day after day for an inspector to show up. I don’t even want to think about what my situation would be if my wife was also working.
I have been in my line of work for over 20 years.  If I did not show up when I was supposed to and did not have the courtesy to make a call, my customers would find someone who would.  Unfortunately, there is no alternative to the City for a building inspection and you have the power to fine or penalize if  procedures are not followed.
The building official I spoke with was polite and sympathetic and I do not believe he is at fault.  But as a homeowner and taxpayer, I believe the situation is unacceptable.
Robert M. (Mike) Rabren
3578 Sugarplum Lane

6 thoughts on “Having a Very Frustrating Experience at the Building Department

  • December 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm
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    I do understand. It is very frustrating waiting for an inspector or for a delivery that doesn’t happen. We will see what we can do to enhance the communication.
    Thanks for understanding.
    Greg Kisela
    City Manager

    Reply
  • December 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm
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    Thanks for your quick response. Yes they did make it out today and unfortunately my tile contractor used the wrong screws so it will have to be re-inspected. It is just rather frustrating as a homeowner for my wife to have to be figuratively chained to the house because the inspector might show up and you can’t risk missing him. It is not the same as a subdivision or home construction where there might be several other items that can be worked on while awaiting the inspection. Perhaps a receptionist position could be added to advise homeowners that they are not able to get to you today, but we expect to complete tomorrow, etc. That is a relatively cheap addition and could probably be part-time from say 12-3 daily. At least that way the homeowner could move on with something else.
    As I stated before, the gentleman in the building department was polite and I don’t blame him for the reality of the situation. Thanks again.
    Mike Rabren

    Reply
  • December 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm
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    Mr. Rabren:
    First let me thank you for your e-mail. I understand your concerns. Providing quality service is a goal of the City.
    We have added an inspector position in the last year. Unfortunately, we have not been successful in hiring a qualified building inspector for this new position. As of now we believe we have a qualified candidate who is anticipated to start in the middle of January. In addition we have been working with adjacent municipalities to explore whether they have any resources we can use. An adjacent city has identified one inspector that we can use for one day a week. These additional resources will help us with the workload and hopefully avoid the situation you experienced.
    As it relates to your inspection my understanding is that we inspected your home today. If this is not correct please advise.
    Sincerely,
    Greg Kisela
    City Manager

    Reply
  • December 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm
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    Why would anyone place themselves in the Port Orange inspection zoo by seeking a permit for work on the interior of their home ??
    Why isn’t Council actively reviewing those repairs and renovations for which a permit should no longer be required.??

    Reply
  • December 20, 2013 at 10:07 am
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    The City charges a fee for all those permits, why not just outsource the inspection when there is a backlog, and use the permit fees as the source of funding for the outsourced inspection?

    Reply
  • December 20, 2013 at 11:53 am
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    Pat, developers have griped about this to no avail for years not only on the inspection delays but on the plan review delays as well.
    City reluctance to change seems to be combination of believing no one is as qualified as those with a City of Port Orange employee card and JOB SECURITY.

    Reply

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